My daughter, the veteran

I am so proud of my daughter, the veteran. She served in Iraq with the Joint Combat Camera Imagery Management Team – something I’m sure she never imagined doing as a child, but that over the years came to be. Maybe it was all that trudging through the arroyos in New Mexico, playing in her little “bush houses.”

I think her interest in the military began when I wouldn’t let her attend New Mexico Military Institute, where her brother went to high school. She wanted to wear a uniform, she said. And march in formation.

I said, “No way.” I wanted my daughter under my influence, not some drill sergeant’s.

And so she joined Civil Air Patrol instead. CAP is the official auxiliary of the United States Air Force. Her grandfather had been been in CAP as a young man, and always bragged of having his pilot’s license before he learned to drive a car.

Every Monday night through high school, my daughter walked out the door in her pressed uniform – she did the pressing – ready for a military experience. She searched for black boxes, took survival training, and soloed in a glider. She went to dining-outs and dining-ins. And she learned how to lead.

In college she signed on the dotted line. It was Air Force ROTC all the way. It seems the recuiters had a uniform with her name on it.

Like any mother, I worried when she went to Iraq. We couldn’t wait until she came home. Prayers never seemed like quite enough. She did come back, though, safe and sound.

No matter what people think of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, soldiers are very special people, made of a spirit and fiber that supercedes controversy.

And I am so proud of this fine person, now a student once again, married, and a member of the Air Force Reserves.  She’s my daughter, the veteran. FFG

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